January 7-8 - Lieutenant R. C. TREJO flew the same night search from Mindoro that Lieutenant EMMANUEL had covered the previous night and with similar results. Three separate radar contacts were made on surface vessels near Hainan Island. The duration of this flight was 14.8 hours.

January 7-8 - Commander N. C. GILLETTE, Jr. and Lieutenant G. I. PALMER provided Tomcat coverage for Task Force SEVENTY-EIGHT with two (2) planes as the convoy neared Lingayen Gulf. At 2230 Item at a position thirty (30) miles south and forty (40) miles west of Manila Bay, Commander GILLETTE picked up an unidentified surface vessel twenty (20) miles distant from the convoy and heading directly toward it on a course of 220 degrees True. At first it was thought that the target was a submarine, but on homing in on it and circling at 500 feet, it was seen that the ship was a destroyer. When it failed to respond to interrogation and maintained its high speed and attack course, warning was given to the Task Force Commander who ordered the plane to orbit over the target. Three destroyers from the convoy's escort group were despatched to intercept the unidentified ship. When illuminated by starshells it proved to be a Japanese destroyer of the HATSUHARU class. It was hit by repeated salvoes and after two magazine explosions completely disrupted and sank. After resuming coverage of the convoy, Commander GILLETTE tracked numerous bogies during the remainder of the night and one plane was sighted visually. At 0550 Item the Tomcats were released by Commander Task Force SEVENTY-EIGHT with a "Very Well Done" and proceeded to Mindoro where they refueled and continued on to Leyte, landing there at 1050 Item.




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